Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Ephesians 5 - The Great Mystery Chiasm

Ephesians 5 speaks about marriage, but it is not about marriage.  Ephesians 5 speaks about Christian living, but it is not about Christian living.  Ephesians 5 speaks about singing in Christian worship, but it is not about singing in Christian worship.  If it is not about these things, just what IS it about?

Ephesians 5 is about God's great mystery, the church of Christ.  It is illustrated here by Paul primarily by marriage and "clean" living which includes "singing to one another in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs."

Ephesians 5 tells us primarily about Christ's relationship to the church which is a "great mystery."  Since Paul in several places reveals the mysterious church of Christ (the mystery is that the gospel is for all, not just the Jews) and makes sure by inspiration that the church of Christ remain a mystery no longer!

The Jews organized their writings (including Inspired Scripture) is a way unlike extant Westerners (shocking!).  Instead of lining up arguments in a line with a conclusion at the end, Hebraic literature would often have a thesis in the middle with arguments on the front end descending to the thesis and corresponding arguments ascending backwards to the thesis.  These "chiasms" rendered emphasis without repetition.  There also was an "internal tension" between the various top and bottom assertions.  For example, the "no uncleanness to be named among you" of Ephesian 5.3 - 5 is contrasted by Ephesians 5.31's "For this reason..."  It goes without saying that a faithful monogamous relationship will allow no uncleanness.  This "chiastic" outline gets its name from the Greek alphabet letter "X" (chi) as it looks like a cut in half letter "X."

Here is Ephesians 5 outlined chiastically.  As Paul did not leave us his outlines, this has been organized by me and me alone.  The Word is without error but my outline might not be!  Feel free to construct your own chiasm's to further your study of God's Word!

2        Walk as did Christ in love, sacrifice and offering
          3 – 5  No uncleanness to be named among you      
                   6        Be wary of deception
                             16      Redeem the time
                                      20 – 21        Submit to all with thanksgiving
                                           22 – 23 Christ is the head of the church – LEADER
                                                                     Christ is the Savior of the Body - SERVANT
                                      24a    The church is submissive to Christ    
                             24b    Wives are subject to husbands in everything
                   25 – 26   Husbands, love your wives AS Christ loved the church
          31      “For this reason a man should leave his father and mother and…
32      This is a great mystery BUT see Romans 16.25 – 26 & Colossians 1.26 - 29

This outline was presented to the Archdale church of Christ, 2525 Archdale Drive, Charlotte, NC 28210 on 11 April 2018 by Russell H McCullough

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